Washington Kastles Head Coach Murphy Jensen
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Washington Kastles open their 2013 season on Monday. The team plays rival New York Sportimes.
On Monday, the Kastles, who are led by Venus Williams, are on mission to tie the longest winning streak in U.S. pro-sports history: 33 consecutive wins.
The team is the 2012 World Team Tennis Champion. All fans in attendance with receive a 2012 champion shirt.
The Kastles head coach, Murphy Jensen, talked to WUSA 9's Dave Owens. They had a lot of fun during the interview. Some people may remember Jensen's enthusiastic and humorous reaction to the team's championship win in 2011: "I'm about to wet my pants. This is unbelievable!"
Asked if he actually wet his pants he said, "No, but if we win tomorrow night, I think my head is going to explode. If we tie the winning streak of the Los Angeles Lakers of '71-'72, honestly, this has been a dream come true while coaching this team in D.C. and it's about the community coming out and pulling for us and our fans."
What makes Jensen so passionate about World Team Tennis, and infectious with his enthusiasm?
"You know, Venus Williams asked me that question. You know, I'm running around picking up the balls, I'm high-fiving kids, I'm running around with the fans ... I am into it. I grew up in northern Michigan, raised by wolves, but Venus asked me, 'Murphy, where do you get that fire, that energy?' And I said, 'One day, Venus, you're going to be standing on the grass at Wimbledon, the cool grass under your feet, and look up at the stadium at center court, and you're going to realize that this is your last Wimbledon. And you're never going to come back here in the same fashion.' And I've had that experience playing at center court and this is the next best thing. I get an opportunity to work with these great, great champions... our team is just stellar. And the fact that we're able to come together, players that typically play in an individual sport, to do something remarkable and historic, it's out of control."
Jensen also explained the importance of winning 32 straight games and aiming for 33. "In the 40 year history of World Team Tennis, no team had ever gone undefeated. EVER. And this is with players like Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, the greatest players that had ever played. Nobody had ever gone undefeated, which makes you wonder what does this team have that's special and unique to all those other teams?"
Jensen says he thinks it starts with the right players and personnel. He says his parents were both coaches and he's gotten advice from Tommy Lasorda. Lasorda told Jensen, "If you get the community, the D.C. community, to come together and rally behind your team, you get your team to play unselfishly for one another and maybe even get lucky and have them love one another. I guarantee you'll be successful."
So, Jensen says he was basically "on a love train" the first year.
See Jensen talk more about Venus and the rest of the team in the video above. Don't forget to watch the howl at the end.
After their game on Monday, the team has an away game against Wild, but then it faces the Springfield Lasers back in D.C. on Thursday. The Lasers are led by Andy Roddick.